Confirmation 2023

What is the preparation course for Confirmation children?

The parish programme, built on recognised external material and parish-based wisdom,  is designed to offer resources to members of the parish team and the parents of the Confirmation children.  The hope is to encourage, challenge and invite parents and the wider parish community to become more actively involved in the children’s preparation for Confirmation. The programme material, provided for download at the top of THE PROGRAMME tab, offers the opportunity to share our faith with the Confirmation candidates in an organised way and hopefully create a space where all can learn from each other.

September 2022 will mark the start of a new hybrid course, taking the best parts of the ‘you shall be my witnesses‘ programme, the American ‘Decision Point‘ programme from, and over 16 years of hands-on experience gathered by the parish priest, Fr Michael Connolly PhD. 

Normally, Confirmation has been linked, unofficially, to graduation from primary school. From now on, the true meaning of Confirmation will take centre stage. The pre-teens are CONFIRMING, under their own initiative, that they want to follow on the road their parents and parish community set them on at Baptism. Confirmation is inseparable from First Holy Communion and the subsequent reception of the Eucharist, from First Holy Confession and the subsequent reception (it is strongly hoped) of the sacrament of God’s mercy, and of course Baptism, which is essential for the reception of the other sacraments. 

Regular Sunday mass attendance is expected of all sacrament children (Confirmation and First Holy Communion) and as part of the new Confirmation programme, all Confirmation children will be expected to help out during some of the masses during the year. For example…

1: You may do some of the prayers of the faithful,

2: bringing up the gifts of Bread & Wine

3: read reflections after Holy Communion 

4: something else you may like (even sing!).

The parish team with parental help will organise a rota for all the children to participate.  

Part 1

The Decision Point programme will be downloadable from the top of tab THE PROGRAMME, with the particular sections required given to you.  DO NOT PRINT OUT THIS DOCUMENT, it is too long. This part of the programme will happen online through zoom groups, and also in class where permission is granted. All homework and reflections will go into a hard-covered A4 notebook – a Confirmation Journal (which the children will need to buy). This will make part of their Confirmation Record, to be kept safe for many years into the future. 

Part 2

 This is a preparation for taking on some big challenges in life, but starting at a pre-teen level and hopefully building greater confidence and competence in tackling important matters we care about. There are 3 meetings, in person, where we will talk about responsibility. What are these 3 meetings on responsibility about, and what does this mean for adults and pre-teens who are  followers of Jesus?
These 3 evenings of 1 hour each (you dont have to do all 3 but 1 or 2 you may like) offer a space for children to talk and reflect upon what responsibility means. Three areas of life will be examined.
1.Responsibility towards creation-what can we do here in Oughterard, guided by pope Francis and LAudato Si?
2.Responsibility towards family/community/parish-who would I like to become, what kind of person?
3.Responsibility towards truth-What truth is forgotten about, that needs to be remembered again? What role is social media playing in our present confusion about truth?

These will be easy-going sessions that are focused on fun and discussion, but have a really serious ‘heart’ that deserves our efforts. 

Part 3

Next from late January 2023, over 4 sessions where we meet in person, the ‘You Shall Be My Witnesses’ programme explores the themes of
1. Belonging,
2. Believing,
3. Being,
4. Becoming 

Each of these sessions is conducted in groups, with each group facilitated by two leaders working with a small group of eight to ten confirmation candidates. Ideally, one of the leaders will be drawn from the parents of the Confirmation class while the other will have some specific training in this area. All required training will be given.

Part 4

The fourth element of the programme will involve an outdoor gathering, to explore one of the symbols of the Holy Spirit. These are wind, water, fire, oil and the dove. More details will follow through the GROUP EMAIL, which is the SOLE MEANS OF OFFICIAL COMMUNICATION for the programme.

Part 5

Lastly, the children will decide, organise and them undertake some random act of kindness as a group. Parental supervision is essential.  

the children

The parents/guardians

the programme

How to register

Enrolment forms for Parents and Children

Parent leadership is ESSENTIAL in the running of our Confirmation programme. We need 12-14 parents to volunteer, all training and support will be given.

If you can help, and fathers are especially called upon, please download forms SG-01, SG-02, SG-03 from here fill out electronically and send back to [email protected]

ALL parents must download one consent form SG-04 for each of their children participating in the programme, click the button below to fill out the form electronically and send back to [email protected]

Parents will not be entering into an official “commitment” with regard to the programme this year, as its going to be complex enough as it is…

All Confirmation children must also “sign up” to the commitments involved in the parish programme, by downloading the form found below. Use your new computer skills to fill out the required parts in a .pdf editor (you can ask help), the ask parents/guardians to email it back to [email protected]